5 Tips for Promoting Your Church on Facebook

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Four: After church is over, if you wish to give a report on Facebook, try saying something specific.

I read them all the time. Pastors will say “God really moved at Mount Pisgah this morning.” Or, “What a great day we had at Grace Church!” Or, maybe “You should have been at Pleasant Ridge today. It just keeps getting better and better.”

One that I see a lot goes: “The Spirit moved this morning at our church.” What, I wonder, does the writer mean by that? And how does the outsider–the non-spiritual person–read it? It could be saying something as simple as “Boy, we really enjoyed ourselves today,” or “The attendance was up and the pews were filled,” or “We had 13 people come to Jesus and 12 were baptized.” Or it might mean “Sister Crankshaft was absent today so I didn’t have to listen to her constant belly-aching about the hymn choice, the clothes I’m wearing, or the noise the teens were making in the balcony.”

It is not necessary, pastor, to give a summary of the morning church service, or of your sermon. (No one does, but I’m just saying that this is not what we’re calling for.) Whatwould be great, however, would be to tell us something funny that happened in church today, something unexpected, some insight you received in the middle of the sermon, or something memorable that was said. If you were doing the children’s sermon and a five-year-old said something that brought the house down, we want to hear about it.

Do not tell us that the service was wonderful; tell us why it was so.

Five: These days, the technology is such that you can post a brief video of a sermon snippet or a sliver of a choir special. It’s the next best thing to being there.

One minute is enough. People who go to Facebook are used to tiny  samples of everything. Now, on Youtube, you can post hour-long sermons and full-length oratorios. (Last week, I listened to four of a friend’s half-hour sermons at his request. He posted them on Youtube and the last time I checked, around a dozen people had viewed them. The point is, you can post almost anything on these internet vehicles these days.

It’s a wonderful world.

So, pastor, if you are trying to pull in outsiders and the unchurched–and who isn’t?–consider finding the techno-savvy members of your flock and get them to help you post little snippets of songs or sermons or whatever that would represent your church well and connect with viewers.

Remember this ironclad rule, pastor: if it’s boring to your wife and children, it will be to the public at large. The fact that it’s of interest to you is useless. We pastors are a strange lot. We will come across a historical insight about the ancient Jerichoans or remnants of the Hittite civilization and find it fascinating and consider building a full sermon around it. Arrgghh! Don’t do it.(That sort of thing is best saved for sessions with other pastors or small groups where informality is the rule and the clock not an issue.)

Post on Facebook only something you and your test group–your wife and kids–found delightful or moving. Skip the other stuff.

There are a dozen other great insights on how to use Facebook to promote your church and draw in outsiders, but I don’t know what they are. If you do, please tell us in the comments section below. All input is welcome. Just remember to keep it positive and practical.

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About Joe McKeever

Dr. Joe McKeever is a Preacher, Cartoonist, and retired Director of Missions for the Baptist Association of Greater New Orleans.

  • http://www.facebook.com/tomixoxo Tomi Jacobs Ziobro

    As a female pastor I wished you had included me in your writing, it’s pretty easy to be inclusive… say spouse instead of wife and so forth. I appreciate your ideas and think they can be used most effectively by the lay leadership and overall members of the church. By giving them some suggestions on the kind of things to post on FB, check in that they are in church and so forth… we will reach a much larger audience. Still we all know that a personal invite is the most effective tool in bringing new folks to church. Social media will not replace the personal invitation.

  • Pingback: Church And Technology.ca's good reading for week 50 2012

  • Becky Harmon

    This was a GREAT blog. This is exactly what I tell my clients about the purpose of social media. Its RELATIONSHIP building. I love how you broke this down really practically and specifically on exactly how to share. I am going to send this to the Pastors I am connected with. Thanks, awesome (that and the zombie blog which I had to share also)

  • Georgia Baptist Preacher

    FYI, there is a Houston County (pronounced “house ton”) in Georgia. It is just south of Macon and the home of Robins Air Force Base.

  • Pingback: Morning Roundup 12/12/12: Tips for Your Church on Facebook, Genealogy of Jesus, Why People Don’t Give | LOVE2020

  • Mojo

    1. You don’t need to say “what church or what city,” if they are reading your facebook posts, then they already know. Facebook doesn’t reach anyone who isn’t your current friend. You can also post messages FROM your church account, which is what we do and then everyone “knows” what church we are talking about.

    2. Visitors to your church won’t have you as a friend on Facebook either. If you’re a pastor you will only reach people you have friended, if your church has its own account it will only reach people who are viewing that page or who have “liked” it.

  • LoisLu

    Our church FB page is so badly done it was allowing people to post vacation photos on it. I contacted our “Communication Director” and gave links to a couple other church FB pages. I was told it would be reviewed when the new pastor came. Nothing has changed in 4 months. It’s still as disorganized as it was. For a church as large as ours, and one that has several staff people that could revised this media resource, it’s frustrating.

  • http://www.facebook.com/cynthia.meade.54 Cynthia Meade

    Our Facebook hits have been skyrocketing with simple daily postings.We take pictures of our new members with their certificates in hand. They share those pictures with others. We put church events in the postings, not just the events section.

    • Georgia Baptist Preacher

      Works for us too, especially youth events.

  • webpastor

    Good tips. I have put them (and similar suggestions) to the test and they work! Bless you!

  • http://humanwebsite.com.my/ Kent

    I agree with your points. Facebook assists in relationship, especially between Pastors and members. Facebook doesn’t replace that relationship.

    And in order to build relationship on Facebook (before face to face meeting), we need to make sure that why should people join our churches. If we are able to answer this question, we can apply the same thing to different social media platforms.

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